Name:  Robert Alan Holt
Rank/Branch: Captain/US Marine Corps
Unit:  VFMA-542, Marine Air Group 11,
1st Marine Air Wing
DaNang Airfield, 
South Vietnam 

Date of Birth: 15 July 1940 (Pueblo, CO)
Home of Record: Pueblo, CO
Date of Loss: 19 September 1968 
Country of Loss:  North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  171327N 1064243E (XE808042)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  F4B "Phantom II"
Other Personnel in Incident: John A. LaVoo (missing)


SYNOPSIS:   The McDonnell F4 Phantom used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings served a multitude of functions including fighter/bomber, interceptor, photo/electronic surveillance, and reconnaissance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2) and had a long range, 900 - 2300 miles depending on stores and mission type. The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. It was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around.

On 19 September 1968 Capt. John A. LaVoo, pilot, and Capt. Robert A. Holt, co-pilot, comprised the crew of an F4B aircraft that departed DaNang Airfield on a combat mission over the heavily populated and defended coastal plains located approximately 20 miles south of the major port city of Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. As the Phantom made an attack pass over its target located east of mountain foothills, 6 miles west of Xuan Bo and 11 miles southwest of the North Vietnamese coastline, it was struck by enemy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire and crashed into the countryside. No parachutes were seen and no emergency radio beepers were heard by the pilots of other aircraft in the area.

An immediate aerial search and rescue (SAR) operation was conducted, but found no sign of Capt. LaVoo or Capt. Holt in this area which was under total enemy control. The aircraft wreckage was located 1 mile west of a single track railroad line and ½ mile from a major north/south road. Both the road and railway frequently carried large quantities of NVA troops and supplies destined for the war zone, and were prime targets for American airpower.

At the time search operations were terminated, both John LaVoo and Robert Holt were listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Fighter pilots in Vietnam were call upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.